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[ecrea] Call for Papers: ICA Preconference "Crossing Boundaries in Visual Communication Research“
Thu Dec 06 21:29:39 GMT 2018
*Call for Papers: Crossing Boundaries in Visual Communication Research*
ICA Young Scholars Preconference, Visual Communication Studies Division
Washington D.C., 24 May 2019
Keynote: Luc Pauwels, University of Antwerp
Submission deadline: 1 February 2019
Visuals are an integral part of everyday interactions, political
communication and news coverage. They can evoke strong emotions, frame
information or even become powerful icons. Visual communication
practices, visual representations and visual rhetorics are thus central
components for understanding how boundaries in politics, culture and
society are defined, transgressed or shifted.
In recent years, for example the role of visuals for (re)defining
boundaries of solidarity (Mortensen & Trenz, 2016) or of in- and
outgroups in political protests or far-right transnational publics has
been explored (Doerr, Mattoni, & Teune, 2013; Doerr, 2017). Visuals also
create new challenges and opportunities to transgress boundaries of what
can and what should be expressed. They can be used to articulate
critique and to fool and bypass censorship (Mina, 2014). But the
vagueness and polysemy of visuals can also be used as a defense strategy
political actors employ against reproaches of having transgressed
boundaries of acceptable political campaign communication (Brantner &
Lobinger, 2014). Allan and Peters (2015) addressed boundaries from a
different point of view; they discussed questions of visual truth in
citizen reportage and interstices of professional-amateur boundaries.
Given the ubiquity of visuals and visual practices in contemporary
societies it is timely to bring together these approaches and to further
discuss how interpersonal and social, cultural, national, linguistic, or
moral boundaries are established, eliminated, crossed or transgressed
with visual communication. This involves various questions such as:
* boundary crossings with/through visual practices: What do
different actors do with visuals (be it photographs, GIFs, memes or
video)? What kind of symbolical and material uses of visual media are
employed for/in boundary crossings?
* visual representations: Which visual representations of social,
cultural, political boundary crossings do we encounter in different
media environments? How can we characterize these visuals? How are they
produced and how are they perceived by which audiences?
* historical perspectives: What can we learn from historical
perspectives and the role of visual communication in boundary crossings
in the past?
* the role of visuals in re-defining the boundaries between fact
and misinformation, in politics of knowledge: What can visual
communication research contribute to the current debates about
“alternative facts”, misinformation and disinformation?
Visual communication studies is a field of research interest that by
tradition has always crossed the boundaries of research fields and
disciplines. Hence, thinking about aspects of boundaries and boundary
crossings in the field also relates to questions of
* crossing methodological, theoretical and conceptual boundaries:
How can visual communication research inform, provide specific expertise
and be informed, both theoretically and methodologically, by other
disciplines and fields? Where are potentials, where are possible
pitfalls for visual communication research?
* ethical boundaries: Which ethical challenges do occur with new
techniques of data collection, analysis, storage and publication? How do
we have to (re)define boundaries of good ethical research practice?
Possible topics of submissions can include but are of course not limited
to the listed research topics and desiderata.
The preconference brings together young researchers (current Ph.D.
students and early career postdoctoral researchers) and senior scholars.
It is open to participants from all different sub-fields in media and
communication studies, ICA divisions and interest groups who focus on
mediated images and visual practices in their completed or ongoing
research projects. It aims to be an opportunity especially for young
scholars to discuss their work and the role of visuals for
defining/crossing boundaries in society and to receive substantial
feedback by peers and senior experts. Moreover, it is meant to be a
forum to jointly discuss current challenges and future directions
regarding methodological, theoretical, and ethical boundary crossings in
the interdisciplinary field of visual communication research. In this
regard, the preconference also seeks to stimulate exchange on ways of
overcoming divisional and disciplinary boundaries and to further provide
“visual expertise” to other disciplines, fields and also actors beyond
The preconference will consist of several formats: an opening keynote, a
presentation session, workshop groups and a closing plenary.
First, in the opening keynote, Luc Pauwels will address aspects and
challenges of crossing boundaries in visual communication research.
Second, in a presentation session that combines brief oral and poster
presentations, young scholars will present their research projects.
Individually assigned senior experts and peer respondents will then give
in-depth feedback on the presentations and projects. Moreover,
participants will have the possibility to network and to discuss
challenges and best-practice options. Third, young scholars and senior
experts split into smaller workshop groups. In these parallel sessions,
young scholars and senior scholars with thematically and/or
methodologically related research projects will be grouped together. The
small groups will then further discuss research projects as well as
current challenges and future directions for visual communication
research. Finally, in a closing plenary with all participants, key
insights and findings of the workshops will be summarized. Moreover, we
will discuss ideas and plans for future networking, collaboration and
We invite young scholars (current Ph.D. students and early career
postdoctoral researchers) from all ICA divisions and interest groups to
submit extended abstracts on both completed or ongoing projects which
focus on mediated images and visual practices. We welcome submissions on
all aspects of the visual communication process and research methods.
Extended abstracts should be limited to a maximum of *1,000 words*
(double-spaced; illustrations, tables and references excluded). Please
submit your abstract as pdf-file and remove all identifying information
from the document. A separate title page indicating the name(s) of the
author(s), the affiliation(s) of the author(s), the title of the
project, and the status of the project (e.g. completed project, work in
progress) must be included.
Send your submissions no later than *1 February 2019 via e-mail to
(rebecca.venema /at/ usi.ch)<mailto:(rebecca.venema /at/ usi.ch)>.* Notifications of
acceptance will be sent out in the 3rd week of February 2019.
Participants will be selected based on the quality of their extended
abstracts. In the review process, we will also ensure that a manageable
range of topics is included, in order to enable the creation of working
groups of participants with thematically and/or methodologically related
In the run-up of the conference participants will be matched as peer
respondents; participants will thus be asked to read a colleague´s
extended abstract and prepare feedback.
We are looking forward to your submission!
*Organizers & Contact*
Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions
regarding the preconference.
Rebecca Venema, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland,
(rebecca.venema /at/ usi.ch)<mailto:(rebecca.venema /at/ usi.ch)>
Contact for the division:
Catherine Preston, U of Kansas, (cpreston /at/ ku.edu)<mailto:(cpreston /at/ ku.edu)>
Jelle Mast, Free University of Brussels,
(jelle.mast /at/ vub.be)<mailto:(jelle.mast /at/ vub.be)>
*Organization & Fee*
The preconference will be held on 24 May 2019 (9am - 5pm). There will be
a fee for preconference participants to cover room and equipment rental,
and catering costs.
Further updates and information regarding the conference venue will be
published on https://www.visualcommunicationstudies.net.
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